Wategos Villas, Byron Bay, Australia (Vrbo): For two years, we’ve all been glued to news of the “next wave.” So, it’s safe to say, we all deserve a break. But if you choose to take the vacation days that we believe every human being on the planet has accrued by living through COVID and use them on a holiday in Byron Bay, you will not necessarily get a break from wave watching. That’s because this hotspot in New South Wales is famed for its excellent surfing. Between spending days in the South Pacific Ocean and nights in this gorgeous villa, you may just start to feel a little of that ol’ 2019 energy coming back.
This bird’s eye view helps illustrate the most important feature of the house: that it’s only 164 feet from Wategos Beach. At a glance, that may not seem that close. But to put it into context, that is just about the same length as Tiger Woods’ $20 million yacht, Privacy.
Based on what we assume must be the million-dollar industry of maritime accents and beach-themed wall art that fill most seaside homes, we believe it must be nearly impossible to design a beach home that is actually chic. That sea air starts blowing in and all of a sudden you have a craving for kitsch. Not here. Wategos Villas is the exception to the rule and proves the one design tenet that will never fail: If you keep the color scheme neutral and use only fine art and nature as your decorative flourishes, you can’t go wrong.
“The home looks gorgeous,” you’re thinking, “but why the plural?” “Villas” isn’t just a grammatical choice. The property consists of two separate houses that are all included in the one not-so-low price of $3,000 a night. On the plus side, this little family vacation compound sleeps 12. If you keep that in mind and have several glasses of wine, the math will begin to look more and more attractive.
The listing describes the property as having a “laid-back and tropical vibe,” which is on full display in this view. This may be the formal dining room, but there’s nothing stuffy about it.
Going on holiday is all about spending a week (or four, if you can forge a doctor’s note for your boss) doing whatever you want. To that end, your first option for dinner is to put this utterly gorgeous chef’s kitchen to work and whip up a spread that wouldn’t be possible in your ordinary digs at home. The second is to take advantage of your guest access to the nearby resort’s restaurant and sit your tired butt down while some other chef treats you like the queen you are.
This photo is just another in a long line of proof that the black-and-white color combo never goes out of style, no matter where in the world you are or what kind of house you’re decorating.
There are many little hideaway spots around this compound, both indoors and out, for you to rest and relax or gossip and wine. Similarly, there are several different seating options for your meals. You can choose to eat in this casual dining nook, at the more formal dining table that we’ve already introduced you to, or at the backyard option in the great outdoors. The theme of this vacation is: choices, choices, choices.
Well, that’s it. Based on this image alone, we’ve decided to quit our job, go on vacation in Byron Bay at this unique yet classically cool home, and then just conveniently never leave. Crossing our fingers that Australia honors squatters rights.
What’s the No. 1 giveaway that a house is by the beach? An outdoor rain shower! This one has the added bonus of looking even nicer than our indoor shower back home.
There are six bedrooms around the property, spread across the two homes and an additional standalone suite on the grounds. All the better to be close, but not too close to all of your vacation guests, my dear.
This home is a paradise that is just steps away from Wategos Beach. But if that’s not enough for you (always wanting more, gosh!), it is also a nice little walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse and the center of the town of Byron Bay from your very own front door.
This might just be one of our top three favorite reading nooks of all time. It’s like the Secret Garden, but for an adult in Australia.
In addition to having the ocean in your proverbial backyard, you also have a private pool and gardens in your actual backyard. Unless you choose to vacation during the rainy season (and why would you ever do that!), we don’t see any reason for you to spend any time under a roof while on this vacation.
The property listing claims that Wategos Villas “amplifies every experience.” Normally, we would call bullshit on such an overblown claim. But, in this case, they just might be right. If only our boss would send us to Byron Bay to see for sure…
Book Your Stay: Wategos Villas, Byron Bay, Australia: $3,110/night via Vrbo